RAMSI: 20 Years, 20 Voices Vodcast Launch
Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy joined ASPC to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). APSC marked the occasion by launching a six-part vodcast series to revisit the history of RAMSI and talk to pivotal figures who made the Pacific region’s biggest security cooperation initiative a success.
Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Mr. Robert Sisilo, gave a moving recount of his experience during the Tensions and his wish for the future of Solomon Islands. Director of the Australia Pacific Security College Director, Professor Dave Peebles, moderated the evening’s panel. RAMSI Special Coordinators Justine Braithwaite and James Batley PSM; and international guests, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) CEO Johnson Honimae, Media Association of Solomon Islands President Gina Kekea, took the stage. The panelists shared emotional insights about life before, during and after the Tensions, and Operation Helpem Fren.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Solomon Islands descended into civil conflict—a period known as the “Tensions”. In the absence of law and order, the Solomon Islands Government asked its neighbours for help.
A united region responded to the call with The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), or Operation Helpem Fren, in July 2003. Over the next 14 years, 15 nations worked with Solomon Islanders to restore peace and prosperity in the country.
“RAMSI itself is a shining example of the importance of the collective purpose and the putting together the skills and the abilities of Pacific peoples in demonstration of the spirit of the Pacific region. It also, I think, reminds us that no one country can manage their own future alone in today’s world.”
—Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary Geneal of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014 in Episode 2 of RAMSI: 20 years, 20 voices.